“As you reopen … you expect to see more cases. But what we’re hearing, in terms of the public health model — of testing people, through contact tracing, and then isolation and quarantine — it doesn’t sound like it’s working as well as it really needs to,” says former acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Richard Besser.
Besser said Monday night he sees “some real danger signs for places like New York, New Jersey, Washington (DC).” New York City, Washington, DC, and the state of New Jersey have entered their second phase of reopening.
The trends in each state
At least 25 states are now recording a rise in new cases compared to last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Those states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
In California, Los Angeles County recorded another single-day high in new cases, with 2,571 new confirmations.
The state recorded more than 35% of its total infections in the past two weeks.
“It is each person’s responsibility to wear a face covering, and follow other recommended safeguards, in order to stop the spread of Covid-19; it is not law enforcement’s responsibility to enforce it,” Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said.
In Tulare County, the sheriff’s office said they “do not have the resources to conduct mask enforcement.”
States seeing steady, declining cases
States in which new cases are trekking steady are: Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Meanwhile, cases are on the decline in Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont.
As cases rise in other states, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he may consider forcing visitors from high-transmission states to quarantine upon arrival.
US still catching up to the virus
Some officials have blamed the increase in cases in more widespread testing. But experts say while testing is partly contributing, cases of the virus are also on the rise.
Even with the increased testing, one official says the US is still not testing enough and is “way behind the virus.”
“We are still reacting. We’re not ahead of it,” Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, said Monday.
“The only way to get ahead of the virus is to tamp way down the cases in any area, and then test like crazy when a case appears, contact trace, and make sure you quarantine. We can’t do that yet because we are still finding all kinds of people who have the virus.”
The researchers behind the findings used data collected from each state by the CDC for influenza-like illness. The CDC uses this data to track the annual seasonal flu epidemic and asks doctors to report all cases of people coming in for treatment for fever, cough and other symptoms caused by influenza.
“We found a clear, anomalous surge in influenza-like illness (ILI) outpatients during the Covid-19 epidemic that correlated with the progression of the epidemic in multiple states across the US,” the researchers wrote.
CNN’s Jenn Selva, Jen Christensen, Andrea Kane, Cheri Mossburg, and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.